San Francisco Market Update: Record-Breaking Prices

Two large transactions brought the total sales volume up by 162% year-over-year in the Bay Area, both exceeding previous average prices per square foot for their respective areas.

Standard Market Update imageTransactions in the Bay Area office market saw an uptick from last month, with 13 properties changing hands in March, CommercialEdge data shows. Roughly 1.9 million square feet traded in the market, totaling $1.56 billion. Year-over-year, this represents a 162% increase—in March 2020, seven properties traded, totaling $595 million. In February this year, five properties had traded for $178 million.

By number of assets traded, activity was concentrated in Silicon Valley, with investors targeting value-add potential. All ten properties that changed hands in these markets were Class B & C office buildings constructed between 1975 and 2000. In Santa Clara, GI Partners acquired a two-building office and R&D portfolio for $42 million from Equus Capital Partners Ltd.

In Oakland’s CBD, Singapore-based Mapletree Investments acquired the 1920s era Uptown Station, for $419 million. The building located at 1955 Broadway was sold at roughly $1,034 per square foot, almost double the average price per square foot recorded in secondary CBD markets in 2020, $528.

The largest sale was the KKR’s purchase of The Exchange on 16th, a $1.08 billion transaction. Kilroy Realty sold the 750,000-square-foot property at about $1,440 per square foot, a steep increase over the average 2020 price per square foot in secondary urban locations, $822. In 2018, the Class A property was awarded LEED Platinum status. Vir Biotechnology subleased nearly 134,000 square feet at The Exchange on 16th from Dropbox. The IT company signed a 15-year lease in 2017 for the entire building, at the time the largest commercial lease transaction ever completed in San Francisco.

CommercialEdge covers 8M+ property records in the United States. View the latest CommercialEdge national monthly office report here. We included properties of 25,000+ square feet in our research.

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